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to mention other more direct con a disciple. Yet this comparative siderations, it reverses, as far as in exaltation of one portion of holy it lies, all that the revealed charac. Scripture, and depreciation of anoter of Christ has done for our faith ther, cannot be otherwise than inis. and virtue. And hence the Apos- chievous in its operation. All Scriptles' speeches, in the book of Acts, ture is given by inspiration of God; and the primitive creeds, insist al- and whoever designedly pays less most exclusively upon the history, attention to one part, for the avowed not the doctrines, of Christianity; reason that it is inferior to another, it being designed that, by means of will thus hinder himself from attainour Lord's economy, the great doc- ing to a complete view of the truth trines of theology are to be taught; taught by the “perfect law of the the facts of that economy giving its Lord.” I can easily conceive of a peculiarity and force to the revelaperson whose mind leans to Socition.” (“Sermons, chiefly on the nianism, wishing, for that reason, Theory of religious Belief,” &c. to persuade himself that the Gos. Sermon ii., pp. 35—37.)
pels, which give the history and It is not because these statements teaching of our Lord before the acare made by Mr. Newman in parti- complishment of the great work of cular, that I would now remark on our redemption, and represent him, them. I chiefly look at the errors chiefly, (very far from exclusively, which they contain. At the same as the divine Teacher of men, betime, it is scarcely possible to forget cause they give the life and lanthe public advances of Mr. Newman guage of Christ himself, are more during the last fourteen years, or necessary to be studied than the not to see the connexion-the very Epistles, in which we find only the intimate connexion-between some language of the servants of the of the leading doctrines of what has Great Master. And I can likewise been since termed Tractarianism, easily conceive of persons who have and the principles implied by the admitted the essential germ of Pocited paragraph.
pery, that salvation is by union Naturalists have remarked, that with the Church, and who feel that the bat appears almost to have a the general tenor of the teaching of sixth sense ; in virtue of which it is the Epistles is against them,-that able, in flying, even though pur- being, “ By grace are ye saved, posely blinded, to avoid all obstacles through faith ; " it is of faith, that in its way, as if it knew where they it might be by grace,-and who were, before actually coming to them. therefore practically
practically undervalue And thus it is that some persons, in them, and teach, as is done more their mental operations and progress, explicitly than usual in the quotaseem to be aware that if they go on tion on which I am remarking, in a certain direction, there will be “that the Gospels are the great infound some kind of obstruction to struments of fixing and instructing their farther advancement. Many our minds in a religious course." years ago, I was in company with a Plausible as the opinion may be gentleman strongly inclined, to say made to seem, it is a very dangerthe least, to Socinianism ; and, as if ous one. And I take the entire aware that in the Epistles he would statement from Mr. Newman's Ser. find great counteractions to these mon in which it is included, not tendencies, he was bent upon re only that justice may be done to the spectfully, but still decidedly, Preacher by a full quotation, but depreciating them, and exalting the likewise because the statement, thus Gospels at their expense.
taken in its entireness, exhibits the pears to be a favourite method, too, mischief of the doctrine, as well as -though of course for a very differ- the doctrine itself. ent reason; no one thinks of im. 1. Mr. Newman gives his own peaching their Trinitarian ortho. explanation of the "phrase " which doxy,--with those who belong to has been, he says, "perplexed by the school in which Mr. Newman is controversy,-that of 'preaching
He says that it signifies culiar and distinguishing character not“ the separating one doctrine of in which they are unquestionably the Gospel from the rest, as having presented to us. It is not, certainly, an exclusive claim to the name of to any one doctrine that the name Gospel;” but “the displaying all Gospel is to be exclusively given ; that nature and Scripture teach con but yet, there is a reason why, to cerning divine Providence, through the whole, that peculiar name should the medium of the life and death of be given, so that the whole inay aphis Son, Jesus Christ.” Here is an pear as constituting a system, deexemplification of the feeling of vised and administered in decided coming obstruction to which I have reference to one great object; and adverted, (for I would not ascribe it all should be preached so as that to clear and direct intention,) produc- the distinctive and systematic chaing such a movement as may avoid racter may be seen without any it. The writer is evidently afraid rational or honest possibility of misof coming to a something incon- take. The Gospel system includes sistent with his system, and of find all that the Scriptures teach; but ing himself embarrassed by the de- why is it arranged into such a cided references made by the Epis- system as is certainly presented to tles to the great subject of salvation us in the Bible, and why is the by grace, through faith. “Preach- peculiar name, the Gospel, at once ing Christ” is therefore represented exclusively and distinctively applied as being, not the severance of one to it? The angelic announcement doctrine from the rest, but the dis answers the inquiry : “I bring you play of all that nature and Scripture glad tidings of great joy." “I teach concerning the Providence of preach the Gospel unto you.' God, through the life and death of unto you is born a Saviour.” And his Son. What nature teaches on how is Christ a Saviour ? By his this subject, I have yet to learn. I incarnation ; and, as connected with have always been accustomed to this, his teaching of such admirable refer the doctrines connected with wisdom, his exemplary life, of such man's spiritual deliverance to pure excellent, lovely, and attractive revelation. And though I would purity and virtue?
Never losing not dispute merely about terms, yet sight of these, there is, however, surely the phrase, divine Providence, that which it has pleased God himis not the one which, as customarily self to place before us as the characemployed, is the most fitting for re teristic principle of the system, that ference to the divinely-appointed because of which it is the Gospel. scheme of human salvation. We The incarnation of Christ is indeed are said to be saved by the grace of a most important doctrine, an essenGod “through the redemption that tial one: but it is itself in Scripture is in Christ Jesus.” And this arises, referred to another, as the means to not from the ordinary providence of an end. By his incarnation, he was God, but from a distinct adminis- “made a little lower than the antration, always referred to the wis- gels;” but this was not for its own dom and love of God, and which, as sake, as though we only needed for committed to the Son born unto our salvation the lovely example of us, the Child given, upon whose bis humility and condescension : shoulder is the government, and who besides this, the importance of sits as a Priest on his throne, bear which is fully admitted, ing the glory, should always be distin- Jesus, who was made a little lower guished from the natural providence than the angels, for suffering of of the Creator and Preserver of all. death, crowned with glory and ho
But, as to the term “preaching nour; that he by the grace of God Christ :” undoubtedly it does not should taste death for every man.” refer to the exclusive statement of St. John, indeed, says, that “in any one doctrine, while yet it does this was manifested the love of God refer to such a statement of one, as toward us, because that God sent his shall preserve to them all that pe- only begotten Son into the world, that
we might live through him ;” but fore, must especial regard be had in he explains this by immediately “preaching Christ." What this adding, “ Herein is love, not that implies is stated on authority which we loved God, but that he loved us, no Christian can dispute. It is in and sent his Son to be the propitiation an inspired epistle that we have the for our sins." This was the testimony phrase expanded into its full sigof the baptizing forerunner of “ Him nification. St. Paul speaks of the that was to come : “Behold the requirements of different classes of Lamb of God, which 'taketh away hearers : "For the Jews require a the sin of the world." And thus sign, and the Greeks seek after wis. did St. Paul explicitly testify, that dom.” And he distinctly states the Him“ God hath set forth to be way in which he met and answered a propitiation through faith in his them all : “But we preach Christ blood ;” and while he speaks of the crucified, unto the Jews a stumbliog. Saviour himself as being “ the Shep- block, and unto the Greeks foolishherd of the sheep through the blood ness; but unto them which are of the everlasting covenant,” he de- called, both Jews and Greeks, scribes the believer as having come Christ the power of God, and the “ to Jesus the Mediator of the new wisdom of God.” To preach Christ, covenant, and to the blood of sprin- therefore, is, without reserve, explikling, which speaketh better things citly, and constantly, to preach than the blood of Abel.” For in Christ crucified. Scripture, objective and subjective re And can it be necessary to argue, ligion are placed in beautifully har. -is not the inference clear, direct, monious relation. Our Lord him necessary, and of intuitive pereep. self had said, “signifying what tion,-that the cardinal doctrine of death he should die,”
* “ And I, if I the Gospel must furnish the cardibe lifted up, from the earth, will nal duty of all to whom the Gospel draw all men unto me.” The whole is preached, and therefore “ the artidoctrine of Christ is attractive; but cle of a standing or falling church?” its greatest and central power re
As Christ is offered unto us, so is he sides in the cross. As, therefore, to be received by us. St. Paul, we are required to behold him, as therefore, says, " Whom God hath the Priest by the inercy-seat, sprin- set forth to be a propitiation through kled with the blood of expiation and faith in his blood.” It is in this atonement, so our great privilege and divinely-appointed method of par. duty are described under the notion don that the righteousness of God of approach to him in that particular is designedly demonstrated ; and, at character : “ Having, therefore, the same time, the all-surpassing brethren, boldness to enter into the love of God triumphantly declared. holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a And that the method of reception new and living way which he hath might harmonize precisely with the consecrated for us, through the veil, method of bestowment, justification, that is to say, his flesh; and having the initiatory blessing of the Gos. an High Priest over the house of pel, and the initiation into all blessGod," the church being thus ex edness, is appointed to be by faith; plicitly declared to be placed under -not by repentance, not by works the sacerdotal rule of the Son of of obedience, not by sacraments; Goul, “let us draw near with a
but “ BY
FAITH IN HIS BLOOD;' true heart in full assurance of faith which, by distinctly perceiving faith.”
and acknowledging the source The doctrines of the Gospel con. whence the blessing is derived, and stitute a wonderfully-arranged sys the channel in which it flows, is tem, and to all of them ought be- utterly self-renouncing, and causes lieving attention to be given ; but the innermost soul of man to give, the key-stone of the whole fabric, unreservedly, all the glory of his the characteristic doctrine of the salvation to his God and Saviour. entire system, is the propitiatory It was the perception and possessacrifice of Christ. To this, there sion of this truth that set Luther in
opposition to the Papacy. It is that Gospel as the power of God unto principle of spiritual Protestantism salvation,” is, not “ that in the before the bold declaration of which Christian scheme we find all the Rome always quails and retires. As divine attributes brought out and it obscures or understands this, Pro urged upon us, which were but testantism is powerless or mighty. latent in the visible course of “One reason, however,” said Mr. things ;” but that “therein is the Wesley, the great instrument, under righteousness of God revealed, from God, of reviving attention to this faith to faith.” The teaching which characteristic doctrine of the New is not thus characterized, will never Testament, “we may humbly con- produce the effects for the sake of ceive, of God's fixing this condition which the Christian ministry was of justification, 'If thou believest in instituted; and, therefore, the docthe Lord Jesus Christ, thou shalt trine of justification by faith will be saved,' was to hide pride from always be found to be the test of
Pride had already destroyed the healthy or morbid condition of the angels of God; had cast down the ministry,-“the article of a 'a third part of the stars of heaven.' standing or falling church.” It was likewise in great ineasure 2. Our Lord's ministry was exerowing to this, when the tempter cised under circumstances every said, “Ye shall be as gods,' that way peculiar, - circumstances in Adam fell from his own steadfast which he stood alone. He was inness, and brought sin and death deed a teacher of the people, and into the world. It was therefore an very wonderful was his teaching. instance of wisdom worthy of God, Grace was poured into his lips, so to appoint such a condition of recon
never man spake like this ciliation for him and all his poste man." For the record of his teachrity, as might effectually humble, ing, as well as for his own living might abase them to the dust. And example, as given by the Evangesuch is faith. It is peculiarly fitted lists, the church can never be too for this end : for he that cometh thankful; and it is the bounden unto God by this faith, must fix his duty of a Christian so to read the eye singly on his own wickedness, four Gospels, as that in spirit he on his guilt and helplessness, with may at one time sit at Jesus's feet, out having the least regard to any and hear his word, and at another supposed good in himself, to any gaze intently, and with devout advirtue or righteousness whatsoever. miration, at that living example of He must come as a mere sinner, holiness, that visible manifestation inwardly and outwardly, self-de- of virtue, which his character furstroyed and self-condemned, bring- nishes. Whatever value we attach, ing nothing to God but ungodliness comparatively, to the Epistles, far only, pleading nothing of his own from the mind of the Christian be but sin and misery. Thus it is, and the thought of superseding the Gosthus alone, when his mouth is stop- pels. Mr. Newman may have met ped, and he stands utterly guilty with some who have fallen into this before God, that he can look unto great error; but to attribute a pecuJesus, as the whole and sole propi. liar and distinctive value to the tiation for his sins. Thus only can Epistles, as a substantive portion of he be found in him, and receive the the entire canon of Scripture, not righteousness which is of God by only does not require us to superfaith.''
sede the Gospels, but is perfectly Thus precisely adapted to man's consistent with the ascription of a circumstances, and agreeing with peculiar and distinctive value to the great object of all the divine them also. administrations,--that God may be Mr. Newman, in the paragraph glorified,—the teaching of this doc on which I am remarking, calls us, trine is therefore, and always, mights in effect, to fall back on the Gosily efficient. The reason assigned pely; referring to them as the by the Apostle, for describing the text, and regarding the Epistles as
being only "comments”
a fact evident to all who read both Using his own language, he would these portions of holy writ with due not, indeed, supersede them; but he attention. But what then? He would plainly have them less re who has given us the Scriptures in garded. And the reason is evident. the form in which we possess them, The Socinian fancies that, in the -one volume, composed of many Epistles, the doctrines to which he books, written by different persons, is opposed are more explicitly stated, and at different times, has been denies their inspiration, and pro- pleased to give to several portions fesses to value the Gospels, as bring- certain peculiarities both of charac. ing before the mind the life and ter and design. There are differteaching of the man Christ Jesus. ences, but no discrepancies. The So Mr. Newman, finding in the wisdoun of agreement among themEpistles doctrines which would lead selves, and of a harmonizing direcat least to a suspicion that his tion to one great end, sbines from scheme of church and sacramental the whole. This very agreement salvation was not in accordance with and harmony will be found to supscriptural teaching, calls his readers ply no dubious proof of the derivachiefly to attend to the Gospels, as tion of the whole from one source, containing the records of the minis- and that source a divine one. “All try and example of the incarnate Scripture is given by inspiration of Son of God. His language allows God; and is profitable for doctrine, no doubt of his feeling. He says, for reproof, for correction, and for “ It is the incarnation of the Son of instruction in righteousness; that God, rather than any doctrine drawn the man of God may be perfect, from a partial view of Scripture, THROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL which is the article of a standing or GOOD WORKS.” One portion may falling church." This reference to especially (not exclusively) place bethe often-quoted saying of Luther, fore us one class of subjects ; ano. -speaking of justification by faith, ther portion, another class. All this --fixes his meaning beyond all ques- is perfectly accordant with the anation. In the Epistles we shall be logies of the works of God in geneled to the doctrine drawn from a ral. Neither are the Epistles to be partial view of Scripture,-justifica- less regarded than the Gospels, nor tion by faith : go, therefore, to the the Gospels than the Epistles : each Gospels, where your danger will be will be found to have its particular, less. As to the deduction of the as well as its general, value ; nor doctrine “ from a partial view of may either be safely overlooked. Scripture,” I am not now concerned I again say that our Lord's ministo show the total incorrectness of try was a most peculiar one. He the statement. The doctrine is the not only spake as never man spake, doctrine of the whole Bible. Ioti- but stood in circumstances in which mately connected as it is with the none ever stood before him, nor has wonderful plan of human redemp- stood since. A Prophet like unto tion, it might be expected to be so; Moses, he was yet more than a Proand so, in fact, it is. He, rather, is phet. He came not only that he open to the charge of deducing doc- might teach, both by precept and trines " from partial views of Scrip- example; he came, likewise," that ture,” who thus, practically, calls he might put away sin by the sacrius to regard the Epistles with less fice of himself." "He came that he attention than the Gospels; and might fully establish the redeeming who does so, evidently, because of a administration, the result and the half-latent consciousness that that manifestation of divine wisdom and will be found in them which will love, and “by himself to purge our not, at least, facilitate the reception sins, that he might for ever sit down of his own religious system.
on the right hand of the Majesty on That the Gospels are not doc- high,” and receive from the Father, trinal in the same way, and to the that he might bestow upon men, the same extent, that the Epistles are, is promised gift of the Holy Ghost.